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Help with overclocking a Core 2 Duo E4500?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Fractalogic, May 16, 2015.

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  1. Fractalogic

    Fractalogic Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    Messages:
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    Hey guys!

    I have a Core 2 Duo E4500 running at stock speed of 2.2 GHz. Default multiplier is 11 and the base clock frequency is 200 MHz. I have 3 sticks of 2 GB Corsair DDR2 RAM, the 800 MHz XMS2 with DHX.

    I have not done any overclocking for years. Me and overclocking go back to DIP switches and jumpers. Multipliers and FSB is all that I remember. I have not done any "modern" or "laid back" overclocking where you just hit DEL and fiddle around with parameters in the BIOS system settings, or where you navigate a mouse cursor in a UEFI enabled GUI based config screen, or the "push button" OC that many high-end motherboards have these days. Personally I feel that's barely overclocking at all: it should be a bit more involved process than that, that's part of the fun.

    So even though I'm familiar with the subject, I am still a beginner I guess... now I'm being modes! :) I have been out of the loop really. I didn't feel a need to overclock any of my recent hardware. But this one is old now so I thought I would try giving it a push and see what happens! :cool:

    How much abuse can these RAM sticks take? How much faster can they run? How much voltage can they take? They are rated at 1.8 Volt and the timing is 5-5-5-18.

    How can I achieve a 1:1 FSB to DRAM ratio? What are these "strapping" schemes I see in my system BIOS? Like A, B, C, and D? I have the Gigabyte M.I.T Intelligent Tweaker menu and it has these little arrows for each strapping row in the details pane pointing to a FSB number. It's something like this:

    Code:
    xxxA -> FSB 800
    xxxB -> FSB 400
    xxxC -> FSB 200
    xxxD -> FSB don't know...
    If I know anything at all, a ration of 1:1 would mean that you have the base clock and the DRAM clock running at the same speed. Am I right?

    So with a base clock of 200 MHz a DRAM at 400 MHz I really have a 1:2 ratio? Correct? How I figure?... Because of QDR, 200 MHz means that FSB is running 800 MT/s and because of DDR, 400 MHz is really 800 MT/s.

    So again, is a 1 to 1 ratio achievable with this combination of CPU and RAM? And do I have to consider the letters and "strapping" I pointed out above? Must I use the "C" for FSB 200? Can't I use an A or a B? I believe that 400 is as low as I can go on RAM but if recon it's not a "C" strap. So I wonder if I can use it anyway?

    I think the FSB to DRAM ratio confuses a lot of people, but I think I got the grasp of it. Hey let me know how I'm doing so far! :eek: What adds to the confusion is QDR and DDR. You have to know how to divide apples with apples and pears with pears, and not apples with pears or pears with apples to get the ratio right.

    I will keep you posted. For the moment, I would like your tips, suggestions, recommendations, experience, etc. Throw it at me, please. What is your experience with overclocking Core 2 Duo processors? What settings have you been using with what processor and RAM combination? I would appreciate that a lot. I know that not all processors are the same and all that, but give me something to refer to.
     
  2. Fractalogic

    Fractalogic Thread Starter

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    For posterity:

    Perhaps the best way to describe the FSB to DRAM thing is like this:

    If ratio 1:2 is like pushing a car uphill, then 1:1 is like pushing a car on flat surface!
    In which case a ratio of 2:1 would be like chasing a loose car downhill! :D
     
  3. Fractalogic

    Fractalogic Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    OK, here's a quick update. So I managed to increase the CPU frequency by 16.5 % from 2200 MHz to 2563 MHz. Base clock is 233 MHz and multiplier is 11. Voltage control is set to manual but the values are all at either "normal" or "auto". The DRAM timings and multiplier is also set to auto, so it's 466 MHz. PCI-E clock is also set to auto. It's a mild overclock. But I am using the stock cooler at the moment, so I don't want to push it too much. It idles at 34 Celsius and reaches 63 Celsius at load. The Vcore reads 1.296 V (note that it's set to normal in BIOS).

    I will try to reach higher speeds, but I must get a proper cooler. For the moment I am stuck with the stock.
     
  4. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    39,930
  5. Fractalogic

    Fractalogic Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    Messages:
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    Hi there! OK, so this one will take as much as 73 Celsius? And 1.500 Volts? Of course I won't go as high, but that means there is a lot of headroom for overclocking here... I think... even with a stock cooler.

    Btw, I have read your guide on overclocking. (Among others.) It's a pretty decent guide for beginners. And you did kind of touch on the FSB to DRAM ratio thing. "Now find your ram speed and lower it one setting; ie from 800 to 667 as an example. This removes the ram from the overclocking equation." But what is your say on the "strapping" thing I mentioned above? How do I achieve one on one ratio? Is it even possible with this CPU and RAM?

    [I will take a pic of BIOS shortly and update here.]

    I used Prime95 version 28.5 and the small FFT test. I ran it for about 10 minutes. It did OK, but the PC became a bit sluggish. Also there appeared to be slightly noticeable horizontal lines on the monitor when viewing the desktop in Windows. I am guessing it's due to some sort of mismatch. PCI-Express maybe? I did not lock it. It was on "auto" pilot. The temps I mentioned were recorded with Real Temp 3.70. (I don't like Core Temp because it appears obsolete now and unmaintained since several years back and mainly because it installed a load of crapware on my PC and I had to spend an hour removing it, even though I was cautious about install menu selections.)

    I tried increasing base clock from 233 MHz (and DRAM 466) to 234 MHz (and DRAM 468). It booted into Windows but then gave me BSOD. Then I locked the PCI-E to 100 MHz. It booted into Windows again, but then gave me BSOD again. I was able to read the DRAM timings: 5-6-6-22. Previously (at 233 FSB) it was 5-6-6-21.

    Then I tried setting the Vcore manually to 1.3000 V and it didn't give me BSOD. Instead the computer would just reboot without warning. It did that two times, right after logging into Windows. It appeared to be graphics driver related (judging by previous BSOD and ATI driver complaints).

    I then did some overvoltage, as following:

    Code:
    Vcore: 1.35000 V
    FSB: +0.10 V
    MCH: +0.100 V
    PCI-E: +0.10 V
    DRAM: +0.10 V
    It did a BSOD after logging into Windows. I repeated two times with same result. I then increased once more, just a little bit more, as following:

    Code:
    Vcore: 1.35625 V
    FSB: +0.15 V
    MCH: +0.125 V
    PCI-E: +0.15 V
    DRAM: +0.15 V
    It booted and I was able to load Windows and log in. It did not BSOD on me. The PC appeared very snappy and quick when clicking around in program windows like browser tabs and so on. It was very responsive, almost too good to be true. The timings were 5-6-6-22 again. I ran Prime95 for a few minutes again without any problem. But idle temp was 36 C and under load it was 66 C. That's quite high. But again, I did increase voltage on everything and it's on the stock cooler.

    I will attempt to go above 234 FSB but I probably should lower the DRAM first. With 234 FSB the DRAM is at 936 DDR, or 468 MHz. That's 68 MHz above the rated speed. It's a 17 % overclock overall. How much voltage can these take? I know it's rated 1.8 Volt, but is it safe to get over 2 Volt or is that playing with fire? I will try to get at least 20 % OC. And I must get a proper cooler ASAP, not just to protect it from overheating but to lower the noise.
     
  6. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    39,930
    There is NO safe overclock. ALL overclocking entails some degree of risk.
    As I said in the guide, never overclock with parts you cannot afford to replace. As long as you can replace your cpu, mb, ram, etc; then you can overclock.

    Generally you can up the vdram or ram voltage by .1V or 1/10V safely. Going >.1V and you are moving into the area where you can start frying parts. Many mb will up both vcore and ram voltage when voltage control is set to "Auto"

    Modern systems run asymmetric ram/fsb. It is not necessary to have both set to the same speed [as it was many years ago]
     
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